Columnist Says Conservative Jewish Pundits Are out of the Mainstream

Article excerpt

The politics of many Jewish pundits are way to the right of the U.S. Jewish population, says Eric Alterman in a column for The Nation magazine's Jan. 7/14 issue.

"Today's topic is the paradox -- or one of them, anyway -- of American Jewish political behavior," Alterman wrote. "They think like enlightened liberals yet allow belligerent right-wingers and neocons who frequently demonize, distort, and denounce their values to speak for them in the U.S. political arena.

"Don't take my word for it. According to the American Jewish Committee's 2007 survey of American Jewry ... a majority of Jews in this country oppose virtually every aspect of the Bush administration/neocon agenda. Not only do they disapprove of the administration's handling of its 'campaign against terrorism' (59-31%), they believe by a 67-to-27 margin that we should never have invaded Iraq. They are unimpressed by the 'surge' -- 68% say it has either made no difference or made things worse, and by a 57-to-35% majority they oppose an attack on Iran...."

Yet, said Alterman, the views of conservative Jewish pundits are often aired "by pliant and frequently clueless mainstream media that empower these right-wingers to speak for a people with values diametrically opposed to theirs. …